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The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare. – Bobby Knight


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Networking 101 by Girl Meets Bschool

Networking is probably one the most primary skills that is required in a Business world. We could meet a potential client/investor/co-founder in the next Business summit we attend. Having decided on spending next 1-2 years in a BSchool, there are bound to be not one, not two, but hundreds of such opportunities. We might not want to miss out our first venture capitalist or co-founder just because we failed to extend our hand first. 🙂

Courtesy:Diversity MBA Magazine

Being an introvert, I had a very timid approach to networking. An interaction with Girl Meets Bschool got me thinking about how even I can do just a few simple things to get behind the wheel.

Guest Post – Networking 101 by Girl Meets Bschool

Networking is perhaps the single most important thing you can be doing during the application process. I actually wish I had done more of it! The truth is, in order to demonstrate that you’re a great fit for a certain school, you really need to understand the culture of that school and in order to understand the culture, and you must talk to people. Sounds easy enough, but like you said, there is an etiquette to it.

I would recommend starting with the two most obvious groups: recruiters and student ambassadors. They are great because they talk to potential students all the time so they are used to answering the same questions over and over. Just take their feedback with a grain of salt because they are there to tell you the good parts about the program, not the bad. If you can, try to attend a couple of MBA fairs where you can talk to recruiters face to face. Student ambassadors can usually be found on the school’s website along with their email, so just reach out to them and schedule a phone interview. I liked to pick the student ambassador that had the most in common with me in terms of background and desired function. You will get more useful information out of them that way.

Other people you can reach out to are the presidents of clubs that you want to join. There’s usually an MBA clubs webpage where you can find their contact information. They are usually less familiar with speaking to prospective students, but you can get some great information out of them if you have something in common.

Lastly, there are alums. They are a little less helpful just because they were not in school as recently, but they can speak to the culture of the school, the opportunities you will have, and your job prospects. If you want to speak to alums, I think the best place to start is LinkedIn. See if you’ve already got a 1st or 2nd connection you can reach out to. (On that topic, now is the time to set up your LinkedIn profile or get it your current one up to date!)

Do’s and Don’ts:

Have some thoughtful questions prepared. Some people will talk and talk without a lot of prodding, but others would prefer you to steer the conversation. Try not to ask anything too obvious or that you could have found out on the website. (They hear the same questions A LOT, so the more creative you can be the better.)

Don’t ask for personal help like, “Can you read my resume?” or “What do you think my chances are?” That puts them in an awkward position.

Know when to end the conversation. At a recruiting event, the adcoms have a lot of people to talk to and you will make a better impression if you don’t monopolize their time. For ambassadors and alums, a 15-20 min phone call is usually enough time. Thank them politely and let them off the hook.

– Recruiters, ambassadors, and even alums are all agents of the school — You never know what information they will relay back to the admissions office. Make a good impression! Dress well, speak well, and be prepared with intelligent questions.

Have a short self-summary ready for when you are asked about your background. “I’ve working in sales for five years, but I’d really like to get into marketing.” …etc. If you can work in something about your interest in the school, so much the better! “I’ve heard your school has one of the top marketing programs in the country. Can you tell me a little about it?”

Write down who you spoke to, the event, the date, and some notes on what they said. It will help you when writing your essays and in interviews. Get a business card if you can.

ALWAYS follow up with a thank-you note within 24 hrs. Standard wisdom is to mention the event and something you talked about so they remember who you are. Something like: “Thank you so much for speaking with me at the MBA Fair yesterday. Since I want to focus in international business, it was terrific to hear about your study abroad program. I hope to speak with you again when I visit campus for next month’s information session.”

Girl Meets Bschool is currently walking the corridors of USc Marshall School of business. From what I know, she is super psyched! Thanks girlmeetsbschool for coming to my rescue :).

If you found this post interesting. Don’t forget to leave a thank you note on her blog.

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Bschool Admissions fever catching up..

Bschool admission fever is slowing catching up and it seems like the room is getting warmer every day. Thanks to blogging community I was able to find couple of 2014 applicants like Tim and MBAgirljourney who are providing invaluable advice  and reminding me that apprehension is just part of the process. Mbagirljourney has already put a responsible financial planning (MBA is an expensive asset) and hmm0 has given his fair crack of the whip as well! . It is a lot better to know that I am not the only one who is trying to make sense of next two years to come!

With just about 2.5 – 3 months to the deadline I am just hanging by the sling. Though its enough time technically speaking if the priorities are set right – getting recommendations, sending out the essays and resume for review etc, are somethings I donot have control on. Setting a back-up for such tasks is very important, while prioritizing tasks.

I am planning to start my application season with  my long term short term goals in parallel to bschool research (residual of what was left last time). In between I am planning to visit ISB as well. There are a lot more things that I am yet to make list of , like bschool list (which I would like to revise now), priority list, etc etc.

Hopefully you are gearing up for an extraordinary MBA admission season as well!


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Lessons on the go

Thanks giving is over already. This means only one thing, round 2 application deadlines are right around the corner, wishing you all the very best for this season! Hope this article, helps you in someway.

I haven’t posted in almost a month ‘cause I have been fretting too much than actually doing (Ah, doen’t that happen often!?). With the deadlines for round 2 is just around the corner. I began the essays with sheer pressure to not give up on my dreams. The reason I postponed my essays because, the first one I started with – career goal essay got me nowhere beyond 3 sentences. I was frustrated that I couldn’t come up with a career goal essay in a week (original target). So, I left it at that. And that became a month.

But since I began writing, everything else other than career goal essays, things have been moving a bit faster (not as much as I expected, but at least they are rolling). After a month of sitting and reading many “I will teach you how to write great MBA essay” guides, I thought I mastered the skill. So, I wrote my first essay just a few days ago and was utterly confident, it was a killer essay and sent it for a review. Only it came back, with the most dismal remark – it is good, but what is the point. I was too much in to the “stories” , the build ups, I lost sight of the whole point. That’s when I turned back to basics, reading essay guides and realized – Holly SHIT! This is all there -Where the essays could go wrong, what should it contain all of that.

Even if this is coming to you at a later stage, I want to share with you one of the most valuable lessons for writing an essay.

  1. DONOT start with reading guides first. You will probably end up learning nothing because whatever it says is pretty obvious for anybody! I mean common, who would keep writing a story and not attend to the actual question? Who would explain about their career goals and forget to mention why? So, you got nothing to learn, ‘cause you already know it.
  2. Sit down and write your career goal essay. Let’s face it, you go to write it sometime later, so why not now! Trust me, no matter how flashy the other essays are, the admission council is more interested in this than other essays. Besides, once you have the clarity of mind you can thread other essays to support this. This makes sure the adcoms get a very vivid picture of who you are in those couple of minutes (2-3 tops) that they spend on your application.
  3. Write one more essay – like past experience, accomplishments etc. The reason you have to write two essays, is that you will have a pattern. Everybody has a patter – their unique style of writing that often gets repetitive. You have to find yours and be aware of it and try not to bring monotonous feeling to the readers.
  4. Get those guides, take notes – personal notes. While you are at those guides, you will realize your weakness and strengths. This will greatly help your essay writing skills.
  5. Use the forums/friends/relatives/tutors to get expert view. Many admission consultants usually offer free consultations. If you are clear about what you would like to understand more about the admission process, you can make good use of free consultation.
  6. Choosing a consultant. I don’t have one. But I got great help (thanks to social network). Choose one, if you are pressed for time and if you don’t have an experienced hand (relative or friend who has done MBA) who are ready to spend time with your for essays. The review session alone would take 3-4 hours in total for each essays – given the number of reviews it would require!
  7. Most important thing of all: Remember this, you are not going to get your essays right in the first go even if you are a journalist. So, be ready to cut the crap, cut it again and again until you get a clear message across.

Here is the list of free essay blogs/videos that you get online.

  1. Admissionado – Amazing for essay guides for free!
  2. MBA Mission – Keeps you in touch with what’s hot in admission season
  3. Stacy Blackman – Great tips on application interviews and lots more.
  4. GMATClub (videos)  – They are celebrating 10th year and 1million posts with series of webminars related to GMAT and admission from myriad consulting agencies. Great Stuff.
  5. Beat the GMAT (videos) –  another set of amazing videos, some are even specific to Indian/Chinese applicants

Have fun!


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Bschool Deadlines

AUGUST 2012

  • AUG 16: INSEAD 3 application deadline

SEPTEMBER 2012

  • SEP 01: IMD September application deadline
  • SEP 07: INSEAD 2 decisions released
  • SEP 15: NYU(Stern) PT Spring 2013 application deadline
  • SEP 15: Indian School of Business R1 application deadline
  • SEP 19: Duke (Fuqua) EA application deadline
  • SEP 24: Harvard Business School R1 application deadline

OCTOBER 2012

  • OCT 01: Wharton R1 application deadline
  • OCT 02: Chicago (Booth) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 03: Stanford GSB R1 application deadline
  • OCT 03: INSEAD 1 application deadline
  • OCT 03: Columbia Early Decision application deadline
  • OCT 04: Yale R1 application deadline
  • OCT 10: Michigan (Ross) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 10: Dartmouth (Tuck) Early Action application deadline
  • OCT 15: Indiana (Kelley) Early application deadline
  • OCT 15: Michigan (Ross) PT Winter application deadline
  • OCT 15: UVA (Darden) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 15: Georgetown (McDonough) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 16: Northwestern (Kellogg) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 16: University of Texas – Austin (McCombs) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 17: Cornell (Johnson) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 17: UC Berkeley (Haas) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 19: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Early Action application deadline
  • OCT 22: CMU (Tepper) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 24: Duke (Fuqua) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 24: UCLA (Anderson) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 24: MIT (Sloan) R1 application deadline
  • OCT 26: INSEAD 3 decisions released
  • OCT 30: Duke (Fuqua) EA decisions released

NOVEMBER 2012

  • NOV 07: Dartmouth (Tuck) November Round application deadline
  • NOV 15: NYU (Stern) R1 application deadline
  • NOV 15: Michigan (Ross) PT Winter decisions released
  • NOV 15: Indian School of Business R1 decisions released
  • NOV 28: Cornell (Johnson) R2 application deadline
  • NOV 29: UC Berkeley (Haas) R2 application deadline
  • NOV 30: Indian School of Business R2 application deadline

DECEMBER 2012

  • DEC 01: NYU (Stern) PT Spring 2013 decisions released
  • DEC 04: University of Texas – Austin (McCombs) R2 application deadline
  • DEC 05: INSEAD 2 application deadline
  • DEC 07: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) R2 application deadline
  • DEC 10: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Early Action decisions released
  • DEC 12: Stanford GSB R1 decisions released
  • DEC 12: Harvard Business School R1 decisions released
  • DEC 13: Yale R1 decisions released
  • DEC 14:University of Texas – Austin (McCombs) R1 decisions released
  • DEC 14: Dartmouth (Tuck) Early Action decisions released
  • DEC 15: Georgetown (McDonough) R1 decisions released
  • DEC 17: Northwestern (Kellogg) R1 decisions released
  • DEC 17: MIT (Sloan) LGO Deadline application deadline
  • DEC 19: CMU (Tepper) R1 decisions released
  • DEC 19: Cornell (Johnson) R1 decisions released
  • DEC 19: UVA (Darden) R1 decisions released
  • DEC 20: Wharton R1 decisions released
  • DEC 21: INSEAD 1 decisions released
  • DEC 27: MIT (Sloan) R1 decisions released

JANUARY 2013

  • JAN 03: Wharton R2 application deadline
  • JAN 03: Northwestern (Kellogg) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 03: Michigan (Ross) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 03: CMU (Tepper) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 03: Dartmouth (Tuck) January Round application deadline
  • JAN 04: Duke (Fuqua) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 05: Georgetown (McDonough) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 07: Harvard Business School R2 application deadline
  • JAN 08: Chicago (Booth) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 08: Yale R2 application deadline
  • JAN 08: Duke (Fuqua) R1 decisions released
  • JAN 09: UCLA (Anderson) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 09: Stanford GSB R2 application deadline
  • JAN 09: UVA (Darden) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 09: Columbia Merit Fellowship application deadline
  • JAN 10: UC Berkeley (Haas) R1 decisions released
  • JAN 11: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) R3 application deadline
  • JAN 15: Indiana (Kelley) Priority application deadline
  • JAN 15: NYU (Stern) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 15: Michigan (Ross) R1 decisions released
  • JAN 16: UC Berkeley (Haas) R3 application deadline
  • JAN 23: UCLA (Anderson) R1 decisions released
  • JAN 23: University of Texas – Austin (McCombs) R3 application deadline
  • JAN 29: MIT (Sloan) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 30: Cornell (Johnson) R3 application deadline

FEBRUARY 2013

  • FEB 01: IMD February application deadline
  • FEB 04: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 08: Dartmouth (Tuck) November Round decisions released
  • FEB 15: Indian School of Business R2 decisions released
  • FEB 15: University of Texas – Austin (McCombs) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 15: NYU (Stern) R1 decisions released
  • FEB 20: Cornell (Johnson) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 21: UC Berkeley (Haas) R2 decisions released

MARCH 2013

  • MAR 01: INSEAD 2 decisions released
  • MAR 01: Indiana (Kelley) Third application deadline
  • MAR 04: CMU (Tepper) R3 application deadline
  • MAR 04: Michigan (Ross) R3 application deadline
  • MAR 08: MIT (Sloan) R3 application deadline
  • MAR 12: UC Berkeley (Haas) R4 application deadline
  • MAR 15: Michigan (Ross) R2 decisions released
  • MAR 15: Michigan (Ross) PT Fall – Early application deadline
  • MAR 15: Georgetown (McDonough) R2 decisions released
  • MAR 15: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) R4 application deadline
  • MAR 15: Dartmouth (Tuck) January Round decisions released
  • MAR 15: NYU (Stern) R3 application deadline
  • MAR 18: CMU (Tepper) R2 decisions released
  • MAR 18: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) R3 decisions released
  • MAR 18: Duke (Fuqua) R2 decisions released
  • MAR 20: UVA (Darden) R2 decisions released
  • MAR 21: Northwestern (Kellogg) R2 decisions released
  • MAR 21: Duke (Fuqua) R3 application deadline
  • MAR 26: Wharton R2 decisions released
  • MAR 26: University of Texas – Austin (McCombs) R4 application deadline
  • MAR 27: Stanford GSB R2 decisions released
  • MAR 27: Harvard Business School R2 decisions released
  • MAR 27: Cornell (Johnson) R4 application deadline
  • MAR 28: UVA (Darden) R3 application deadline
  • MAR 28: Yale R2 decisions released
  • MAR 29: University of Texas – Austin (McCombs) R3 decisions released

APRIL 2013

  • APR 01: NYU (Stern) R2 decisions released
  • APR 01: IMD April application deadline
  • APR 01: Georgetown (McDonough) R3 application deadline
  • APR 02: Dartmouth (Tuck) April Round application deadline
  • APR 02: MIT (Sloan) R2 decisions released
  • APR 03: Cornell (Johnson) R3 decisions released
  • APR 03: UCLA (Anderson) R2 decisions released
  • APR 03: Stanford GSB R3 application deadline
  • APR 04: Chicago (Booth) R3 application deadline
  • APR 08: Harvard Business School R3 application deadline
  • APR 10: Columbia Regular Decision application deadline
  • APR 10: Northwestern (Kellogg) R3 application deadline
  • APR 11: UC Berkeley (Haas) R3 decisions released
  • APR 15: Indiana (Kelley) Final application deadline
  • APR 17: UCLA (Anderson) R3 application deadline
  • APR 18: Yale R3 application deadline
  • APR 22: CMU (Tepper) R4 application deadline
  • APR 24: Cornell (Johnson) R4 decisions released
  • APR 29: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) R4 decisions released
  • APR 30: CMU (Tepper) R3 decisions released

MAY 2013

  • MAY 08: UVA (Darden) R3 decisions released
  • MAY 10: Duke (Fuqua) R3 decisions released
  • MAY 10: University of Texas – Austin (McCombs) R4 decisions release
  • MAY 15: Michigan (Ross) R3 decisions released
  • MAY 15: Michigan (Ross) PT Fall – Standard application deadline
  • MAY 15: Georgetown (McDonough) R3 decisions released
  • MAY 15: Stanford GSB R3 decisions released
  • MAY 15: Michigan (Ross) PT Fall – Early decisions released
  • MAY 15: Northwestern (Kellogg) R3 decisions released
  • MAY 15: Harvard Business School R3 decisions released
  • MAY 16: Yale R3 decisions released
  • MAY 16: UC Berkeley (Haas) R4 decisions released
  • MAY 24: MIT (Sloan) R3 decisions released
  • MAY 24: Dartmouth (Tuck) April Round decisions released
  • MAY 24: CMU (Tepper) R4 decisions released
  • MAY 31: INSEAD 3 decisions released

JUNE 2013

  • JUN 01: NYU (Stern) R3 decisions released
  • JUN 01: IMD June application deadline
  • JUN 05: UCLA (Anderson) R3 decisions released

JULY 2013

  • JUL 01: Michigan (Ross) PT Fall – Standard decisions released

 

 

Please note, the author of this post is GMATLA from GMATClub